Femur fracture treatment | Recovery | Management
Do you know which is the longest and strongest bone in your body? It is your thigh bone, medically termed as the femur. Any fracture to this bone is termed a femur fracture. A femur fracture takes more time to heal. Typically, this bone can sustain high-impact trauma up to some extent. However, a large force can break the bone, such as a heavy fall or a motor vehicle accident.
The damage to the femoral shaft and distal femur is the most common femur fracture. These fractures are explained below:
Femoral Shaft Fractures
The straight part of your thigh bone (femur) is called the femoral shaft. When it breaks anywhere along the length of the bone, it is termed as femoral shaft fracture. This type of fracture always needs surgery to heal.
Distal Femur Fractures
If a fracture to the thigh bone occurs just above your knee joint, it is termed a distal femur fracture. The distal femur fracture may also extend to your knee joint. Distal femur fractures are common in older people as they have weak bones. In younger people, they may occur due to a high impact fall or motor vehicle accidents.
Femur Fracture Types
Types of Femoral Shaft Fractures: Femur fractures vary based on the severity of the break. The bone might crack (stable fracture), or the broken bone pieces go out of alignment (displaced fracture). The skin surrounding the fracture might be intact (closed fracture), or the bone may pierce out of the skin (open fracture).
Femur fractures are classified based on:
- Fracture location
- Fracture pattern
- Whether the skin and muscle around the bone are torn or not
The following are some of the common types of femoral shaft fractures:
- Transverse fracture
- Spiral fracture
- Oblique fracture
- Comminute fracture
- Open fracture
Femur Fracture Classification
Classification of Distal Femur Fractures: If the bone breaks straight across, it is a transverse fracture, and if the bone breaks into pieces, it is known as a comminuted fracture. Sometimes, the femur fractures extend into your knee joint, which are known as intra-articular fractures. If they damage the cartilage, then the treatment for intra-articular fracture becomes more difficult.
Treatment For Femur Fractures
As the femur is a long and strong bone in your body, a broken femur is rare. However, when it fractures, the healing process takes around six months and goes through the following phases:
- Inflammation around the broken bone
- Regeneration of new bone growth.
- Remodelling of the mature bone or newly formed bone
Femur fracture treatment without surgery
These femur fractures can be treated non-surgically or surgically. The treatment depends upon the severity of the fracture. Skeletal traction, casting, and bracing are used to hold the broken bone in place while they heal. Fractures that are stable and properly aligned might be fixed with a brace or a cast.
Femur Fracture Surgery
Surgical Treatment for Femur Fracture: Most of the time, femur fractures require surgery to correct or repair them. Orthopaedic surgeons use new surgical techniques and tools to deliver optimum results, even in elderly patients with low bone density.
Orthopaedic doctors say that a broken femur needs to be fixed within 24 to 48 hours except in case of other life-threatening conditions. Before the emergency care and surgery, your leg may be placed either in a long-leg splint or traction to keep the bone pieces as aligned as possible.
The surgery involves stabilizing the broken with the help of internal fixation or external fixation based up on the femur fracture.
External fixation – It is used to hold the broken bones together until the bone heals. The fracture is fixed with the help of metal pins or screws placed above and below the fractured bone. External fixation is preferred when the skin and muscles around the femur get damaged.
Intramedullary nailing: The procedure involves the insertion of specially designed metal rods into the femur bone. The rods help the fracture to hold it in its position.
Femur Fracture Recovery
How long does it take to recover from a femur fracture?
The recovery from a femur fracture depends on the severity of the fracture. Most of the femur fractures heal within 3 to 6 months. But if an open fracture or the bone is broken into pieces or the patient consumes tobacco products, the fracture takes more time to heal.
For the best femur fracture treatment, management and care plan – and for any other complicated bone fractures – including trauma, consult Dr Vasudeva Juvvadi. He has hands-on experience and expertise in the treatment of all malunion, non-union, complex and complicated and failed fractures. He provides the best femur fracture treatment in Hyderabad – based on the severity of the case.